|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:21-26 Let us not suffer Christ's words to depart from us, but keep sound wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in his ways. The natural life, and all that belongs to it, shall be under the protection of God's providence; the spiritual life, and all its interests, under the protection of his grace, so that we shall be kept from falling into sin or trouble.
Verse 25. - Be not afraid; al-tirah, is literally "fear thou not," the future with al preceding being used for the imperative in a dehortative sense, as in Genesis 46:3; Job 3:4, 6, 7 (see Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 127. 3, c); Vulgate, ne paveas. Others, however, render, as the LXX., οὐ φοβηθήσῃ, "Thou shalt not be afraid," in the sense of a promise. The verb yare, from which tirah, is here followed by min, as in Psalm 3:7; Psalm 27:1, and properly means "to be afraid from or before" some person or thing. Sudden; pithom, an adverb used adjectively (cf. like use of adverb khinnam in Proverbs 26:2). Fear (pakhad); as in Proverbs 1:16, the object which excites terror or fear, as any great disaster. The desolation of the wicked (shoath r'shaim) may be taken either
(1) as the desolation made by the violence of the wicked, the desolation or strum which they raise against the righteous (so the LXX., Vulgate, Mariana, Michaelis, Hitzig, and others); or
(2) the desolation which overtakes the wicked, the desolating vengeance executed upon them (so Doderlein, Lapide, Stuart, Muensch., Delitzsch, Wardlaw). The latter is probably the right interpretation, and agrees with the threatening language of Wisdom against her despisers, in Proverbs 1:27, where shdath also occurs. Iu the desolation which shall overwhelm the wicked he who has made Wisdom his guide shall be undismayed, for the Lord is his confidence. The passage was probably suggested by Proverbs 5:21, "Neither shalt thou be afraid of desolation when it cometh." Lee, in loc. cit., says the places are almost innumerable where this sentiment occurs. Compare the fearlessness of the man of integrity and justice, in Horace -
"Si fractus illabatur orbis,
Impavidum ferient ruinae."
(Horace, 'Od.,' 3:3, 7, 8.)
"Let Jove's dread arm with thunders rend the spheres,
Beneath the crush of worlds undaunted he appears."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Be not afraid of sudden fear,.... Of anything terrible that comes unawares, unthought of, by any of the above things mentioned in the preceding note; or by any rumours and reports of danger being near at hand; always think thyself safe in the arms of Wisdom, and under the care of Israel's keeper, who neither slumbers nor sleeps;
neither of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh; either of the desolation which wicked men threaten to bring, and are suffered to bring, upon the godly for the sake of religion; either on their persons or goods, since suffering at their hands in such a cause is to the honour of saints, and for the glory of God; or of the desolation which comes upon the godly, for God is able to deliver him from it, as Noah and his family from the universal deluge, and Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah; or if they promiscuously fall in it, nevertheless it will be well with them to all eternity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. Be not—or, "You shall not be."
sudden fear—what causes it (Pr 1:27), any unlooked-for evil (Ps 46:3; 91:12; 1Pe 3:14).
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